Matthew Dorning, of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, shared a prayer by St. Basil as a way to prepare us for our conversation about icons and worship. It was so good we had to share it with all of you who couldn’t make it on Sunday.
The marvelous perfection of creation, where everything fits and works together to bring about God’s plan, should help us keep God always in mind, says St. Basil. If we remain ever aware of the beauty of God’s creation, we’ll give sin no opportunities.
“And God saw that it was good.”
God does not judge the beauty of his work by the charm of the eyes, and he does not form the same idea of beauty that we form. What he finds beautiful is what, in its perfection, shows all the fitness of art, and what works toward the usefulness of its purpose. So God, who planned an obvious design in his works, approved each one of them, because it fulfilled the purpose for which it was created.
A hand, an eye, or any part of a statue lying apart from the rest, would look beautiful to no one. But if each part is restored to its own place, the beauty of proportion, until now almost unperceived, would strike even the most uneducated. But the artist, before uniting the parts of his work, distinguishes and recognizes the beauty of each of them, thinking of the purpose that he has in view.
This is how Scripture depicts to us the Supreme Artist, praising each one of His works. Thus earth, air, sky, water, day, night, all visible things, remind us of our Benefactor. We shall not therefore give occasion to sin, we shall not give any room to the Enemy within us, if by constant recollection we keep God ever dwelling in our hearts.
–St. Basil of Caesarea, Hexameron, 3.10